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Comparison of Crystallography, NMR and EM


  Advantages Disadvantages Objects Resolution
X-ray Crystallography • Well developed
• High resolution
• Broad molecular weight range
• Easy for model building
• Difficult for crystallization
• Difficult for diffraction
• Solid structure preferred
• Crystallizable samples
• Soluble proteins, membrane proteins, ribosomes, DNA/RNA and protein complexes
High
NMR • High resolution
• 3D structure in solution
• Good for dynamic study
• Need for high sample purity
• Difficult for sample preparation
• Difficult for computational simulation
• 15 – 25kDa
• Water soluble samples
High
Cryo-EM • Easy sample preparation
• Structure in native state
• Small sample size
• Relatively low resolution
• Applicable to samples of high molecular weights only
• Highly dependent on EM techniques
• Costly EM equipment
• >150 kDa
• Virions, membrane proteins, large proteins, ribosomes, complex compounds
Relatively Low (<3.5 Å)